Race Information & Runners’ Instructions

23rd Halstead & Essex Marathon

Sunday 7th May 2017 at 10:00am

Certificate of Course Accuracy:  15/026
UK Athletics Road Race Licence: 2017/26577


Thank you for entering the 23rd Halstead & Essex Marathon. We hope you enjoy our marathon!

Please take time to read the important race day information below.

Race number and chip timing

Our 2017 race will be chip timed. Your race number, timing chip and baggage label will be available for collection from Race HQ from 8am onwards. Please allow plenty of time for collection. After receiving your race number, please complete the medical declaration on the back – this is for your benefit as well as ours IF YOU DECLARE ANY MEDICAL CONDITION PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU NOTIFY OUR INFORMATION DESK LOCATED IN THE VENUE.


The race starts and finishes at Halstead Leisure Centre, Colne Road, Halstead, Essex CO9 2HR which will act as Race HQ. There will be refreshments, showers, toilets, masseurs, changing and baggage storage facilities, all accessed from the rear of the complex beyond the Start/Finish line. Halstead Leisure Centre provides many other sports facilities including a 25m swimming pool; for further information call 01787 472480.

Doors open at 8am. Please arrive no later than 9.30am to allow time for parking, collection of your entry pack and storage of baggage. The Start and Finish is adjacent to Race HQ.


If you wish to leave your baggage at Race HQ please mark the label clearly with your race number and attach it securely to your baggage. There will be directions to the secure storage facility from the Main Hall. Please leave plenty of time to drop off any baggage as there are likely to be queues. Baggage is stored at your own risk.


Halstead is 7 miles north of Braintree on the A131. From the south go up the High Street towards Sudbury until you see the bright orange signs which turn you left continue to a mini roundabout and follow the signs to the parking area.. From the north and Sudbury you’ll be directed to turn left at the top of the high street then continue to follow signs to the parking area. From Colchester and the east (A1124) you’ll be directed to turn right 400 yards after entering the town. Detailed directions can be found on our website.

Car parking

Please don’t park in the adjacent streets but follow the marshals’ directions to the car park which is less than a 1 minute walk from Race HQ. There’s no parking at Race HQ as this is reserved for emergency services and patrons of the Leisure Centre. We regret that the organisers can take no responsibility for any loss or damage to vehicles or their contents. We encourage you to lift share where possible to minimise the impact on the environment.


Full details of local accommodation can be obtained from the Tourist Office in Braintree. Call 01376 550066 or visit www.enjoybraintreedistrict.co.uk for more information. General information can also be found on our website.

Course description

(There’s a full description, elevation map etc on our website, link HERE). The race is mainly through quiet and picturesque country lanes, undulating with small valleys. Many runners state this is the most beautiful marathon course they have ever run. There’s an ‘out-run’ from Halstead through Pebmarsh into the lanes of the Essex/Suffolk border, where the route enters a 10 ½ mile loop, most of which is run twice, in 2015 this route has changed so please be aware. After completing most of the second lap there’s a different mile-long ‘in-run’ back to Race HQ.  The route is almost all on secondary roads but there is a short section of grass (400m) in the final mile. If you should feel that you’re unable to complete the course you should report to the nearest marshal who will arrange transport for you back to the finish. If you don’t complete the course you must not cross the Finish Line and are asked to report to the officials at the Finish Line and state you didn’t complete the race.

There are mile markers throughout. 6 water stations serve runners 10 times. Similarly, 2 sponge stations serve runners 4 times.  We also provide the facility for you to have your own drinks delivered to the water stations. You should clearly label your own drink(s) with your running number and place them in the containers (numbered 1 to 6) at Race HQ. Should this facility be of interest, we strongly recommend that you arrive early. For logistical reasons we cannot commit to delivering an unlimited number of drinks, so when the crates are full the service will be suspended. Runners’ drinks will be delivered to the course at 9.15am. We ask you to be fair to each other and bring no more than 3 drinks each (since any more is unnecessary given the provision of water). You may also attach 1 gel to your drink(s) securely with sticky tape. Please deposit rubbish at a water station or drop it close to a sign to help us keep our countryside beautiful.

The course is marshalled throughout, with experienced runners at key locations. In addition, the course is very well sign posted so that runners continuing after marshals have withdrawn will be able to follow the route. Whilst we don’t have a time limit on the race, we reserve the right to begin to withdraw marshals after 5 hours. We have adopted this policy due to the long day for all our volunteers, First Aid and Race HQ staff. Water stations and signage will remain in place until the last runner and tail bike have completed the course.

Dogs and wheeled carriages, other than wheelchairs, are banned from the course. Runners must not be accompanied, or followed, by others on cycles. Unfortunately, the course is not suitable for wheelchair athletes.

Personal audio equipment (Digital music players)

Following repeated concerns from both runners and marshals about the inappropriate use of personal audio equipment (i.e. at a volume level that doesn’t allow the listener to be aware of traffic and able to hear marshals’ instructions), the use of such items has now been banned from our race.

Medical arrangements

These are under the supervision of our Medical Director. Essex Medics are based at Race HQ. They’ll be patrolling the course, and an ambulance is on standby throughout the race. You’re reminded that you should ensure that you’re in good health on the day of the race. Please be aware that you compete at your own risk. We provide Level 2 cover as defined by UK Athletics. Please don’t forget to complete the medical declaration on the back of your running number – this is for your benefit as well as ours.

Information Desk and Communications Centre

The Information Desk is in the Main Hall at the Leisure Centre (please follow the signs around the side of the building to the rear entrance) and is manned by our Communications Coordinator during the race. We’re in communication with all officials including the Course Director, First Aid, water stations and most of the course marshals. In addition we’ll have a room available in the unlikely event of an emergency.


There are a number of convenient places to watch the race. Maps of the course, for spectators, will be available at the Information Desk. Please ask your friends and family to park responsibly whilst out on the course.

Essex County Championships

UKA affiliated runners who were born in, or have been resident in Essex for 9 months or more are eligible for this championship. The Essex County Amateur Athletic Association Road Race Secretary’s decision as to eligibility is final. Entry on the day is not possible. The closing date to be included in the championship is 1ST May 2015. Awards are made to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers (both male and female) and first 3 finishing teams (both male and female). Also the following age category awards: Male – senior, over 40, 50, 60 and 70.  Female – senior, over 35, 45, 55 and 65.

262 Mile Club

The 262 Mile Club is an exclusive club for those who have completed the race 10 times or more. Members get to choose a number for life. Membership of the 262 Mile Club is by application only. If you believe that you qualify, please contact our Entries Secretary on [email protected]

Trophy presentations

The Race Director’s decision as to the distribution of trophies is final. There will be 3 presentations starting at approximately 2.15pm: the Halstead & Essex Marathon, the Essex County Championships and the Hertfordshire Championships. The Halstead & Essex Marathon itself has a “one person, one trophy” policy. Therefore 1st, 2nd and 3rd places receive place trophies and thereafter other runners receive age category prizes. The trophies are:

  • Male 1st to 3rd place and 1st over 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70
  • Female 1st to 3rd place and 1st over 35, 40, 45, 50, 55
  • 1st Male and Female Teams (Please note that a team comprises of the 1st 3 finishing runners from a club).
  • The Sports Council Trophy which is given to the 1st finishing runner resident in the Braintree District Council area.
  • The Colin Richer Trophy which is given to the 1st finishing runner of Halstead Road Runners.

All trophies must be collected on the day, unless £10 is left with the Race Director to cover postage and packaging.


If either the 1st male or female runners beat the respective course records they will be awarded a prize of £200. The women’s record is 3:13:22 (set by Nicky Tyrell Royston Runners, 2015). The men’s record is 2:37.56 (set by Chris Sellens Colchester Harriers AC 2015).


In 2016 over £6,000 from our race was donated to worthy causes, including: St Helena Hospice, Farleigh Hospice, Ramsey College, TAPS, Halstead Day Centre, Halstead in Bloom and The Tabor Centre. We aim to continue this in 2016 and hope that you’ll feel able to participate in supporting these worthwhile causes. There’s no minimum donation, every little helps. Donations will be accepted at the Information Desk.


Our official race photographers on Event Photography will be out on the course throughout the day. Prints will be available to buy from www.myeventphoto.co.uk. A selection of photographs will also appear on our website. Pictures from the day will be circulated to the local media along with our race report/results.


Provisional results will be displayed at Race HQ as soon as they’re available, and updated regularly. Provisional results will be posted on our website on 8th May. If you require a set of results to be posted please leave a stamped addressed envelope and £1 at the Information Desk.

Declaration and Data Protection

By participating in our race you declare that you are over the minimum age (18) for this event and you accept that the organisers and sponsors will not be liable for any loss, damage, action claim, cost or expenses which may arise in consequence of your participation in the event. You declare that you will ensure that you are in good health on the day of the race and, that in any event, you will compete at your own risk. You declare that you will abide by the UK Athletics Rules of Competition. Finally, you agree that our photographers may capture your image and that this image will appear on Event Photography’s website (www.myeventphoto.co.uk) and may appear on our own website and publicity (www.halsteadroadrunners.org.uk) and in other media outlets along with our race report/results.

We hope you enjoy our marathon – please tell us what you thought via www.runnersworld.co.uk or on our own website at www.halsteadroadrunners.org.uk